I made my annual pilgrimage to review War Memorial Stadium tailgate activity this afternoon, then back home for more comfortable game monitoring. Observations:
* Out of all the tailgates in all the world, who should set up across from my people but U.S. Rep. Tim Griffin (above), who amiably extended the right hand of fellowship, chicken wings, water and soft drinks. Talked with K. Ryan James and others in his entourage about politics, but I don't think I persuaded any change in political outlook. Or vice versa.
* They're cramming too many people onto the golf course. Not enough green space left and aisles for walking to peruse the crowd are hard to find. It diminishes the experience. I still fondly remember grad school "tailgates" at Stanford. We gathered around picnic tables scattered in a eucalyptus grove. My memory was that cars had to park around the perimeter, which made schlepping of serious picnic fixings more of a chore, but I don't recall that it reduced the quality of drinks and eats. No big screen TVs, giant speakers and other gear in 1972 either. I'm guessing most would find the Little Rock scene far more electric and I don't think I could argue with that.
* Parking at houses close to Markham near the stadium has reached $30, though $25 was more standard. Nothing beats a winner to spur the market.
* There are obviously exceptions, but the Louisiana culinary chauvinist in me still believes that the general food offerings — ingredients, prep, presentation — fall short not only of Tiger Stadium but a good night at Cowboy Stadium in Lake Charles. OK, I managed to get plenty to eat.
* Cake pops shown here came from the Brantley kitchen, but I was just the driver.
News notes tonight:
* MARIA HALEY HOSPITALIZED: Maria Haley, executive director of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission, became ill at work Friday and was hospitalized at UAMS. Her condition is "serious," a hospital spokesman said Saturday.
* HUCKABEE DEFENDS ISLAM: Mike Huckabee seems here to stand up for the inclusion of Muslim clerics in 9/11 events.
* HIP HOP CHARTER SCHOOL: I kid you not. Off to a bad start.